SHIP REVIEW | Cape Otway – New long-endurance patrol boats for the Royal Australian Navy

Austal Australia has delivered the first two of six Cape Evolved-class patrol boats planned for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

New aluminum monohulls classified DNV ADV Cape Otway and AV Cap Peron each has an overall length of 57.8 metres, a beam of 10.3 metres, a draft of approximately three metres, and accommodation for 32 crew and other personnel. Austal said the ships were built with a number of improvements over the basic Cape-class patrol boats, improving operational capability and crew capacity over ships already operated by the Navy and the Australian Border Force.

Austal added that the Evolved Cape class includes new, larger equipment, improved quality of life systems and advanced sustainment intelligence systems that will further enhance the RAN’s ability to operate at sea.

ADV Cape Otway (Photo: Austal)

Like their basic Cape-class sisters, the Evolved Cape-class boats were built for sustained operations lasting up to 28 days or covering a range of 4,000 nautical miles in conditions up to sea ​​state four. Deck space is also available for two small response tenders to conduct boardings and interceptions at sea.

Data and voice communications are possible over secure and unsecured channels using VHF and UHF radios and satcom. For navigation, crews rely on an integrated deck system that includes radars, ECDIS, two gyrocompasses, AIS, DGPS, an electro-optical sensor system (EOSS) and a voyage data recorder (VDR).

Two Caterpillar 3516C main engines which each produce 2,525 kW at 1,800 rpm drive fixed-pitch propellers through ZF 9055A gearboxes to provide a maximum speed of 25 knots and a cruising speed of 12 knots. A HRP 2001 TT 160 kW bow thruster offers increased manoeuvrability. The boats also feature Austal’s proprietary motion control system, which consists of roll fins and trim tabs that are automatically driven to provide improved stability across a range of speed settings.

ADV Cape Otway (Photo: Austal)

Evolved Capes also retain the basic standard Cape-class boat armament of two pintle-mounted 12.7mm machine guns.

The six Cape Evolved-class boats will be delivered by mid-2023 to replace the RAN’s Armidale-class patrol boats. The new vessels will also be used as interim patrol platforms until the Navy’s Arafura-class offshore patrol vessels are commissioned.

The Navy will use the advanced capes in policing operations, primarily in northern Australia, enforcing Australian sovereign immigration and fisheries laws. They will be maintained at the North East Regional Maintenance Center in Cairns.

ADV Cap Peron (Photo: Austal)

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ADV Cap Otway & ADV Cap Peron
Vessel type: Patrollers
Classification: DNV +1A1 LC, PATROL, E0, NV, BIS, RP, NAUT-HSC, ELT, RADHAZ, SAM
Flag: Australia
Owner: Royal Australian Navy
Manufacturer: Southern Australia
Hull construction material: Aluminum
Total length: 57.8 meters
Shine: 10.3 meters
Disorganized: 3.0 meters
Main engines: 2 x Caterpillar 3516C, each 2,525 kW at 1,800 rpm
Gearboxes: 2x ZF 9055A
Propulsion: 2 x fixed pitch propellers
Lateral thruster: HRP 2001 TT, 160kW
Radio: VHF; UHF
Other electronic devices: Austal motion control system; electro-optical sensor system; travel data logger
Armaments: 2 machine guns
Crew: 32
Operational area: North Australia

Earnest A. Martinez